|03-07-2011, 01:05 PM||#1|
Joined: Jul 2010
Location: Somers CT
I'm not certain how the seed for an Iron Butt ride got planted, but I started the planning in October, 2009 for a July, 2010 ride. Asking a few friends about it, several expressed an interest. By the time they told other friends no less than 12 people were ready to go. We were going to attempt the Iron Butt Association (IBA) 'entry level' ride of 1000 miles in less than 24 hours on motorcycles. The ride is aptly termed “Saddle Sore 1000”. I had mapped a route of 1041 miles from
In October of 2009 we were all supposed to meet to go over the route and times as well as get a feel for how many riders were actually serious about going. A half dozen people showed up, with another 3 not able to attend, and the date and route were set. As the months went by I weaned myself off the 8 cups of coffee a day that was normal for me and set a limit of 2. I did this knowing that coffee had little effect on me anymore, and I wanted it to work on the ride – just in case. 3 or 4 riders backed out for various reasons over the next few months and the week prior to our ride we were down to a manageable group of 4.
I woke without the alarm at 1AM on Wednesday, July 14th to pouring rain. The forecast was for rain thought the entire morning along our chosen route. Having slept a whole hour and a half I resisted the urge to down a coffee, telling myself that adrenaline will make up for the 1-1/2 hours sleep in 40 hours that I was looking forward to. Donning my ballistic nylon riding pants and jacket I proceeded to squeeze into vinyl rain gear and kiss my wife goodbye. I headed to the garage where my waiting bike had been packed the night before. Going over all the items I'd need for the trip, I checked them all off in my mind. The temperature was in the 80's at 1:45AM, very unusual for
You can't say enough good about people willing to get up at such an hour simply to see you off. Within a few minutes there were 4 motorcycles parked at the pumps as we headed to Norm's pickup truck to fill out the start witness paperwork. My friend Mark Pozzi with his Harley Ultra, Scott Menard riding a dressed Harley Road King, Chris Howland on his Harley Road Glide, and myself riding my BMW R1100RT were now minutes away from our journey. Chris and Scott are friends of Alan that I barely knew, but hey, anyone showing up in the rain at 2:30AM to ride 1000 miles must be okay. Besides, they knew Alan. Stripping off my rain gear I decided that wet was preferable to hot. After a few pictures we fueled up and checked our receipts to be sure the right date and time stamp showed.
A successful Saddle Sore is admission into a group of motorcycle riders (the IBA) numbering about 33,000 world-wide. The criteria for acceptance is a well documented route using gas (or other) dated and time-stamped receipts to prove location, time, and route. My beginning odometer reading was 22510. Taking on 3.8 gallons of premium the official start time of 2:53AM on Wednesday, July 14 was recorded. Setting my GPS to start the saved itinerary to Myrtle we headed out of the station toward I91 south. With Scott in the lead we set a pace of (insert legal speed limit here) and reached I84 west in what seemed like seconds. 100 miles later, and 20 miles into
The rain had stopped and the sun was now baking us dry. The temperature was around 90 already and I stripped off my riding gear in favor of light cargo pants and a tee shirt. My neck, shoulders, butt, and left knee were asking me to get a hotel and return home the following day. Riding is a private, personal endeavor whether solo or in a group. Take four like-minded riders with a common goal and put them together for twenty hours of riding with only 3 of those hours using any type of communicative skills and what you get is a bond stronger than many weeks of social interaction. I was alone, yet somehow I wasn’t.
I had taken the sweeper position (rear of the group) since Jonestown and was having trouble focusing. Mark, who was in front of me had to position himself between the leaders and I while trying to keep both in sight. In the convenience store at the gas station Mark and I split a tuna sandwich and as we were checking out I saw the ubiquitous Five Hour Energy Drink. What the heck, it can't hurt. Adding a Red Bull to our tab as well we stepped out into the 90+ degree heat. The sandwich was much needed as was the juice bottle. I managed to drink half the Red Bull and down the 5 Hour thing as we discussed the heat. I'm a skeptic when it comes to miracle claims by any manufacturer, but 15 minutes back on the road and I felt the need to pass Mark at triple digit speed to indicate to Scott we should pick up the pace. I had my second wind.
According to the GPS we had our 1000 miles in the bag. Wanting to get to the hotel as soon as possible we pushed off down secondary roads until Scott and I lost sight of Chris and Mark. Stopping, we doubled back to find them at a gas station with a tool bag laid out and Mark crouched down at the side of his bike. The shifter linkage had popped off at the same moment his clutch began to slip. We were, by GPS, only 1.1 miles from our final destination. Playing with the linkage we managed to get the bike into second gear and chose quiet streets with no traffic to attempt to get the ailing bike to the motel. We pulled into the Ocean West Motel in
As tired as we were, we all changed into our bathing suits for what turned out to be a less-than-refreshing dip in an 80+ degree pool. Beer and cigars in hand the trials of the day soon melted away, replaced by a feeling of accomplishment and pride.
After a day in Myrtle, I felt like I had known Mark, Chris, and Scott forever. That bond was finalized after a $300 booze tab at a local raw bar near our motel.
The second day in
Mark and I pulled into the Enfield Elks Lodge just before 10PM and talked the closing bartender into pouring us a celebratory beer. The ride home was quick and the sight of my house was more than welcome at this point. Five days and some 2700 miles after I had left, I was finally home.
Would I do it again? With the right people - in a heartbeat. I say with the right people, because riding is a personal experience best shared with good friends.
|03-07-2011, 09:07 PM||#2|
Joined: Feb 2005
Location: Baja is good
Thanks for the RR.
Congrats on do an SS1000. You did it the hard way....but you got it done. That's all that's important.
|Thread Tools||Search this Thread|